My Cool Place – West Bay, Dorset

Travelblogger Claire from Weekend Candy shares her cool place – West Bay in Dorset

You might know it as Broadchurch. To me, it’s simply West Bay – a sleepy harbour on the Jurassic Coast where I spent most of my formative years and where I still visit as often as I can.

You’ll find West Bay half a mile from the market town of Bridport, sitting tightly against honeycombed cliffs; Lyme Regis to its right, and Portland to its left.

Although its diminutive size cannot rival the might of Bournemouth or even nearby Weymouth, people still love it here. I think they come because of its size. It’s small, but perfectly formed: you get a neat package of traditional seaside fun, plus the breath-taking beauty of its sweeping World Heritage Site beaches.

No surprise then that West Bay pulses with visitors in the summer – arcades full, stone piers dripping with crabbing lines, pebbled beaches flapping with the sound of wind-breaks, and huge cliffs stirring with ramblers.

My favourite time to visit West Bay, however, is during the winter, when the last caravan pulls out of the harbour, and many of the fish and chip kiosks close for business.

The whole personality of this little place changes dramatically at this point. Yes, the seagulls still hang overhead on invisible strings and the sea still breathes heavy against the sides of the fishing boats, but there’s a tranquillity to West Bay in winter – a harmony – that is so restoring.

Forget yoga or meditation; a walk on East Beach on a blue November day, with the vast English Channel at your feet, will settle even the most tumultuous mind.

And then, afterwards, a hot chocolate loaded with cream and marshmallows will flood your chilly limbs with warmth and leave West Bay firmly anchored in your heart.

Claire from Weekend Candy is an award-winning freelance writer with a lust for weekend travel. Checking out the sweetest places to stay and the best things do to on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, she brings back colourful, evocative and energetic tales for her 'Weekend Inspiration Blog'.

Images by Weekend Candy, except main header image (Fishing Boat West Bay by wapster via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)